Graduate School News

UNC-Chapel Hill to Host Native Leadership Symposium on Feb. 21

February 11, 2013

Representatives of six Native communities will participate in a Feb. 21 symposium designed to foster dialogue about current challenges and goals for Indian country leaders.

The UNC-Chapel Hill event, “Discussions on Self-Governance, Sovereignty and Sustaining Vibrant Communities,” will be held in Alumni Hall I of the George Watts Hill Alumni Center. The daylong event, which begins at 9:30 a.m. and includes lunch, is free to the public; registration is required by Feb. 18 (please RSVP to Chelsea Kolander).

“This will be a fantastic opportunity for students and community members to hear these leaders' perspectives on contemporary issues, and to discuss current challenges and perspectives for American Indian peoples,” said Amy Locklear Hertel, director of the American Indian Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Jeff Corntassel, associate professor in the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria (Canada), will give the keynote address at 10 a.m. He is the co-author of “Forced Federalism: Contemporary Challenges to Indigenous Nationhood” (University of Oklahoma Press) and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Kerry Bird, a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota and Lumbee Indian tribes, will serve as the event moderator. He coordinates the Teen Tobacco Use Prevention Program of the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs.

The first panel discussion, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, will focus on the issues of self-governance and sovereignty. The panelists will be:

After lunch, the second panel discussion will focus on sustaining vibrant communities. The panelists will be:

The event will conclude at 3 p.m.

First Nations Graduate Circle, an organization of American Indian graduate and professional students at UNC-Chapel Hill, is coordinating the symposium. Other UNC-Chapel Hill event sponsors include LEARN NC, The Graduate School, the Native American Law Students Association, the Carolina Indian Circle, American Indian Studies and the American Indian Center.

Follow symposium discussion on Twitter: @FNGCChapelHill, @LEARNNC or #nlschat